I invite you to follow me into the city; this is the most lively and dynamic part of the marquoir!
At the bottom, on the right, there are four flower pots. Flowers are the symbol of friendship in general, as we saw earlier in another part of the sampler, but these flowers represent you and are in fact incorporated into a border of w's.
The flower pot at the bottom left stands for friendship you can't find on the Web, but the kind that surrounds you every day -- the friendship we live and breathe, and that we can see.
The Internet has in fact shaken up the way I see and think about human interaction, and friendship in general.
When I first started going online, I resisted the idea -- I thought it was just a tool among many and nothing more.
I was wrong, and over the past six years of surfing the Net, I've had and felt many different emotions -- some virtual, but others very real.
Having lived in an urban area since childhood, I can tell you that you are the flowers in my city in this part of the sampler.
Little fish and an angel fish are swimming peacefully across the linen. It's normal for city dwellers to have pets and hobbies. Keeping trpoical fish has fascinated me for seven years (fulfilling my need for an environment that reminds me of calm and rest, as well as my wish to know more about aquatic life.)
The angel fish is a nod to the one that swims near me when I'm tapping away at the keyboard.
A "w" is stitched just above, as the symbol of the Web that urban life led me to learn about.
You'll see a little dog right next to the fish. It's just my dog Casper, who is a part of our lives.
After my studies to be a hairdresser, symbolized by the comb and the scissors, I would like to share with you a little bit of bread and a country loaf, located above the "w".
These symbols represent the "black bread" and the "white bread" of life.
At that particular time in my life, I was living in an old building (the first on the left at the top), on the 6th floor (5th floor in Britain and France), and to personalize this spot, I stitched my first window in silver thread.
This was my first "home", but also my first real challenge in life: no work and no money, but an immense happiness about my independence and having cut the apron strings.
I would call this brief period "the happiness of innocence" -- it's strange to feel it so beautifully and intensely even now when I'm telling you about it.
The bread also represents my first job: as a salesgirl in a bakery -- a start in life worthy of "black bread" but with the heart and soul of "white bread".
As Paris was my first home, the Eiffel Tower is not far away on the linen. For those who have never seen it, stitich it in gold metallic thread and if one day you get the chance to see it, go underneath it and make a wish. This "great lady" has a truly magical presence underneath its iron exterior.
To the right of the Eiffel Tower is a baby carriage, which stands for childhood and tenderness. It's also the symbol for kids, which I've been happy to have for five years now.
The buildings in this part of the sampler symbolize those I've lived in up until now. I stitched the windows where I lived in silver thread. The building is an urban symbol with a double meaning: it can be tall and oppressive, or smaller and friendly.
It's always at night that we can see the lights in the heart of the city... and it's as pretty as moonlight in Maubeuge. :)
Think to look both to the left and the right before crossing our little boulevard. Cars are creating traffic on the linen and are bringing with them the stress and the impatience that we have from time to time in our lives.
At the top on the left, snowflakes are gently falling above the buildings. For me, snow represents all that is magical and unreal.
It's always a symbol that makes one think of dreams, hopes and the magic of believing in good things we can only see for ourselves.
The forest of trees located not far from the buildings shows that we're in the suburbs or in a smaller city.
In fact, these trees represent the Meudon forest, through which I have wandered more than once -- during my childhood, my teenage years and even now as an adult.
You all might not know about the Meudon forest, so before moving on to part 5, and to make sure we all see the same forest on the linen, we're going to call this spot the Little Woods Story and take a rest...
See you soon for part 5...
Textes et illustrations ©Isabelle Vautier
Thank you very much to Susan Stumme for the translation in English of the pages of the Marquoir Story.